The Specialized Purist bottle was released in 2010, with Specialized claiming the bottle's "as pure as drinking from a glass." The Purist is said to leach absolutely zero plastic taste into water and absorb none of other beverages' flavors, thanks to a microns-thin layer of silicon dioxide lining the squeezable polyethylene bottle. Reviewers flocked to put this claim to the test, and they agree the Purist delivers on this promise. Reviewer Stephen Regenold of GearJunkie.com finds that the bottle stands up to coffee and energy drinks and rinses clean with ease, and CyclingNews.com attempts to stain or flavor the bottle with foods such as tomato sauce and curry to no avail.
Specialized offers the Purist in 22-ounce and 26-ounce sizes, and with its popular Watergate self-sealing "Heart Valve" or MoFlow sport tops. The Watergate stays sealed, even when the valve is open, allowing water out only when the bottle is squeezed. The valve can be closed, too, so the bottle is 100 percent leakproof for transportation or for mixing powdered drinks. The MoFlow is similar but offers a greater water flow. Reviewers find that the Specialized Purist tops work as advertised, preventing leaks and providing a good flow of water.
Reviewers say a major drawback is the Purist's price tag, though it's less than the CamelBak Podium (*Est. $8 for 21-oz. bottle), which is its major competitor and another sports enthusiast darling. CyclingNews.com's product review points out that the durability of this lining hasn't been proven and Specialized doesn't offer an insulated version, which some consumers may prefer. Also, buyers may have trouble getting their hands on this bottle; multiple reviewers mention buying the Purist from specialty bike shops and few online sellers offer the product. Many online sellers that do have the bottle available have added their own logo to it, which may bother some consumers.
Huang prefaces his article with the header "pricey but nearly perfect in every way," which sums up his feelings on the bottle succinctly. His enthusiastic review does point out a few concerns, though. He mentions that the durability of the silica coating hasn't yet been proven, that Specialized doesn't offer an insulated version and that the bottle is expensive. His pros, in addition to the odor- and flavor-free lining, include the no-scrub cleaning and "efficient" Watergate top.
Review: Product Review: Specialized Purist Watergate Bottle, James Huang, Jan. 11, 2011
This review is part of a series of reviews about Regenold's gear while on an expedition in Patagonia. He goes into great detail about how he used the Specialized Purist, and professes himself quite satisfied with the way it stands up to coffee and energy drinks and rinses clean. "For me, the Purist has set a new standard that all bike bottles must now stand up and face," he writes.
Review: 'Glass-Like' Bike Bottle, Stephen Regenold, Feb. 25, 2011
This analytical review focuses very specifically on testing Specialized's claims. O'Connor finds that the silica lining and Watergate mouthpiece do live up to the product's claims, although he says the bottle doesn't rinse clean as advertised. He says the bottle retained the smell of a sports drink after multiple washings, which other reviewers did not experience.
Review: Hands On: Water Bottle Round-up -- Specialized Purist with the Watergate Valve, Brian O'Connor, Nov. 16, 2010
Bailey focuses his review on the silica lining of the Purist, saying he tested the bottle by leaving it for a week in a car that alternated hot and cold. At the end of the test, Bailey finds that the water hasn't picked up the flavor of the plastic. While he doesn't discuss many of the bottle's other features, he writes, "Provided you don't lose it, it'll be the last bottle you ever buy." The only con he mentions is that the Purist is pricey.
Review: Review: Specialized Purist Bottles, Dan Bailey, April 18, 2011
This article offers only a brief introduction to the Purist, which was new at the time. It details the many features that later reviewers praise, but the article doesn't make clear whether the writer used the bottle himself.
Review: New Purist Water Bottles from Specialized, Sept. 20, 2010